The Committee of Ministers has adopted Guidelines for the 47 member states to help them in upholding equality and protecting against discrimination and hate during the Covid-19 pandemic and similar crises in the future. The Committee stresses the importance of establishing effective structures and procedures to manage crises and their specific impact on disadvantaged groups and equality in a swift and inclusive way.
In doing so, member states should respect the European Convention on Human Rights and other international human rights instruments and take into account the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and other European or international human rights instruments, as well as the recommendations of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI).
These guidelines, prepared by the Steering Committee on Anti-Discrimination, Diversity and Inclusion (CDADI), focus on information, protection, access to services and benefits, combating hate speech and violence, prevention of discrimination, digitalisation and artificial intelligence.
The explanatory memorandum to the guidelines and a compilation of promising and good practices provide a set of good practices from various member states that can be used by other member states to implement the guidelines, improve their responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and enhance their preparedness for future crises.
Central, regional and local authorities have, together with Equality Bodies and National Human Rights Institutions, an essential role in implementing these guidelines.
Protecting vulnerable groups in crisis situations: more effective structures and procedures needed